Have you thought in detail about what casket material you will choose when you pre-plan your own funeral? Look no further! Not only can you communicate your priorities and emotions through flowers and music, you can also select a specific coffin that represents your personality or hopes for the future. Here are a few common casket materials and what they represent.
An oak tree symbolizes endurance. The durability of the oak tree has inspired many countries to adopt it as a national symbol. Oaks live long lives and give owners good luck and protection. They provide both acorns and mistletoe, making them utilitarian as well. A casket made of oak symbolizes a long, full life, maybe someone who has endured trials and hardships and is now able to rest under the protection of the mighty oak tree.
Maple trees represent wisdom of years and deep understanding. Additionally, maples are known for their abundance of sap and sugar, from which we collect syrup. This evokes a sense of sweetness and joy. In many Native American traditions, the maple tree was a sacred offering and represented generosity—especially to the Algonquian tribes of the northwestern United States and western Canada (they developed the process that gave us maple syrup today!). A casket made of maple will be a lovely, soft color, and the deceased will rest surrounded by the bounty and sweetness of a life they once enjoyed.
Hardwood Mahogany Casket
A hardwood casket is made entirely of solid wood, which makes them heavy but also impressively well-made. Mahogany is a popular hardwood, and it symbolizes strength. It is also a rare wood that has been used for centuries to craft furniture. Mahogany is known as a wood of protection—the legend is that it can even withstand lightning strikes. Placing your loved one in a casket of Mahogany will communicate your care for their well-being. They will be laid to rest in a bed of security and safety.
Pine caskets have been popular since colonial times, and the beautiful symbolism may contribute to that. Pine is the Nativity tree, is represents purity and freshness. Carrying pine with you is said to help you “stay your course” and achieve prosperity. In some Native American tribes, the pine tree represents longevity and coexistence with nature. Pine caskets are a lovely light color if left as the natural wood, but they can be stained a wide variety of hues. Burying your loved one in a pine coffin (or choosing this material for yourself!) will ensure a return to nature that is full of good fortune and luck.
No matter what material you choose as you make your preneed arrangements, know that there are many factors that make a beautiful and memorable funeral, and your casket can be one of them!
* Images from Batesville Caskets as seen here.